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’09 TAGT: Educator Perspective by Alicia Montgomery

December 30, 2009

Comments from Alicia Montgomery at Coppell Middle School East

While at TAGT Houston, I attended a number of sessions that provided me with great ideas to share with my students.

One of the most practical session, and enjoyable too, was “Why are We Reading this Boook?”  What a great title!  I’ve had students ask me that same question more than once, so I was intrigued when I saw this session.  It was conducted by Robyn Burris from Round Rock ISD.  She teaches 5th grade, but much of her information was appropriate for my 6th grade LA class.  Her website has a great deal of information and materials she is willing to share with other teachers.
http://teacherweb.com/TX/FernBluffElementary/FBETAG/t.aspx
She shared some fun ideas about how to bring historical context to well-known and widely read novels. 

Another session I attended that I really enjoyed was “Making Writing am Extravanganza for Life.”  This session was conducted by Jessica Acosta and Michelle Campbell.  This workshop was very hands-on.  We did the activities we would take to our kids.  I really enjoyed that as it gave me a chance to sit in the student’s seat.  Their lessons guided us through brainstorming ideas, quick writes, and ended with creating a “Truism” or Life lesson from the story.  What a great way to get our kids writing, thinking, and sharing!

I have not yet had a chance to share my new ideas with my Language Arts team, but I will.  I enjoy hearing the other ideas my team has for tweaking the lessons and using them on their own students.

I do have to share another fun fact about the trip completely unrelated to anything I learned while in a session!  After being snowed into Houston (yes…Houston, TX), I learned a valuable life lesson. You should always be prepared and ready for the airline to cancel your flight, take your luggage and not return it to you. And you should always travel with friends because that makes life so much better. And you should definitely not stress out when your plans change, rather you should just enjoy the ride. Thanks friends for making this my most eventful TAGT Conference yet!

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